Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks back to his office after speaking on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
As we reported earlier, the votes appeared to be leaning toward defeating the motion for new witnesses to testify before the Senate.
Democrats have been pushing to have people like former national security adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney testify.
Sen. Cory Gardner announced that he would not be voting to have more witnesses. Gardner was considered by some a possible vote for witnesses. But in fact, he apparently was one arguing against witnesses, according to a report from the Daily Wire.
“Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who face competitive races in the fall, addressed their colleagues in the meeting, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Gardner said a longer trial would lead to more Democratic attacks, according to a spokesman, and Mr. Tillis called impeachment a sham. Ms. McSally’s office said she doesn’t comment on what happens in private meetings.”
The people who may be in tough re-election battles are seeing that the longer it goes, the more it opens the possibility for Democratic intrigue just like in the Kavanaugh case and it doesn’t help anyone.
Now, it appears even more likely Republicans have the votes according to the latest information about a meeting between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), according to a report from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton.
Murkowski would be a critical vote the Democrats need to flip for new witnesses.
It was clear to Senate Republicans on Wednesday after a morning meeting between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that the question of having additional witnesses is settled and the Senate will vote Friday to wrap up the impeachment trial.
There was no discussion of witnesses at a Senate GOP lunch meeting Wednesday, which was held a couple hours after McConnell and Murkowski met for about 20 to 30 minutes.
That was seen as a sign by several senators that Democrats will fail to convince four Republicans to join them in calling for witnesses. Without a vote to hear from witnesses, the trial could end as soon as Friday.
“We’re going to get it done by Friday, hopefully,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said following the meeting.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), emerging from the lunch, said “I think I can say the mood is good.”
Instead of talking about witnesses, they spoke about moving forward to the vote and finishing. Braun said if he were to guess, “No witnesses.” Rounds said the discussion was about how “we’re moving forward.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) had indicated that they were leaning toward voting for witnesses. But Democrats would need four and now it sounds from this report that they don’t have them.
So hopefully, that holds.
That would be the best possible result so they can more forward on the final vote and have done with the trial.
If this isn’t going to change the facts, that there was no actual quid pro quo, what’s the point of having more witnesses? Democrats haven’t proven their case. Why go on for weeks or months to reach the same conclusion while inviting more intrigue, nonsense, and distraction?